There's an old joke (ed. note: real old!) in the United States about a shopkeeper who one day finds that a competitor has opened a shop right next door. In the competitor's window is a sign that says "Best prices in Town." The next day another competitor opens a shop on the other side, and puts a sign in the window that says "Best Selection in Town." Finally, the man, surrounded by his competition and their superlative claims puts a sign above the door to his store which is now located between the two. His sign reads "Main Entrance."
I tell you this because it is our goal to make Bulgaria the "main entrance" to tourism in this part of the world.
In our letter of welcome to you, we mention three words that are the keys to Bulgaria's tourism development. Those three words are "Investment", "Experience", and "Education." Let me briefly address each of those words.
As for investment, Bulgaria already has the raw materials for a thriving tourism industry...the attractions and destinations that are unequaled in most parts of the world (and I'll talk more about that in a minute). But there is a need for capitalization. By demonstrating your commitment to developing the industry, and by creating a coordinated marketing effort, I believe Bulgaria will be able to attract the necessary capital.
The experience Bulgaria needs is available in conferences like this one. In this conference we bring together some of the leading tourism and tourism marketing executives and officials not just from Bulgaria, but from the United States and Europe. They are here to share with you their expertise. Just as important, they are here to tell you how, as representatives of different parts of the tourism industry, they work together in synergy to build a...